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Man to be sentenced for defrauding employer of $1.4 million

Thursday, July 31, 2014    

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A former employee of Trade Winds Citrus Limited, who tried to flee the country after stealing $1.4 million from the company, was remanded for sentencing on August 12, when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Roven Williams, 24, who was employed as a farm assistant, is said to have submitted the names of three previous contract workers to the company for payment along with his account number. As a result, payment for the workers were sent to his account.

However, the fraud was detected after personnel noticed that the payments for the workers were above normal.

When the matter was mentioned in the court, Williams' attorney initially made a bail application in which she sought to highlight his achievements, while noting that he was a very ambitious young man.

She told the court that Williams was the former head boy of Portland High and had received a scholarship to attend Moneague Teachers College, for which the application is pending.

The lawyer also informed Resident Magistrate Georgianna Fraser that Williams was baptised in a church in Clarendon; however, the magistrate was not impressed.

"Is he still going to church, you know some people get baptised and they don't return?" she asked. "And since you brought it up, if he's not even attending night service I don't see the importance of it being mentioned."

The lawyer then told the court that Williams was unable to attend church regularly because he lived on the farm.

But RM Fraser told her that was no excuse and the lawyer in response said Williams had been to church as recently as May.

"May is a long time," RM Fraser said.

The magistrate then asked the lawyer to address the allegations that her client tried to flee the country.

"It would appear that he was fleeing because of youthful exuberance and fright," the lawyer said.

She was also asked to address the allegations and was given time to take instructions from her client, but later informed the court that Williams wanted to plead guilty to larceny as a servant.

The lawyer then informed RM Fraser that Williams was willing to pay back the money, resulting in a date scheduled for sentencing. Williams was informed to bring as much of the money to court as he could on that day.

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